Apartment Building Barks Up Renters With Shared Bulldog Puppy

Courtesy WC Smith

If you are a non-dog lover looking to rent an apartment in one of Washington, D.C.'s newest luxury apartment buildings, you might be barking up the wrong tree.

An apartment in the soon-to-be-completed, 314-unit 2M building, located in Washington's NoMa district, comes with a 6-month-old miniature English bulldog puppy named Emmy, also known as the building's "resident puppy."

Emmy, who currently resides with the developer's vice president of marketing and leasing, will live full-time at 2M when it opens June 1. She will be available to "take walks with our residents in the dog park, fetch a few hugs, kisses and belly rubs, and host community yappy hours; it's a ruff job, but some puppy's got to do it!" according to Emmy's biography on the 2M website.

"A lot of people who live in apartments would like to have a dog but don't feel that they can with their work and travel and commitments," said Anne-Marie Bairstow, a spokesman for the building's owner, WC Smith. "They can go and see Emmy and not have all the responsibilities."

The idea to "adopt" Emmy came from Holli Beckman, a vice president at WC Smith, who watched everyone "light up" when someone walked by with a dog while eating at an outdoor café.

"That gave her the idea for a dog in the leasing office so everyone would come and want to play with the dog," Bairstow said.

Emmy now spends her time now in the WC Smith's office, going for walks with employees and running in and out of offices.

"People are always stopping by and saying hi to her," Bairstow said. "The response to Emmy has been very positive."

Renters also will be allowed to have their own dogs in their units, which range in price from $1,500 per month for a studio apartment and to $3,000 per month for the largest two-bedroom units, Bairstow said.

"It's a pet-friendly building," Bairstow added.

The WC Smith team has not yet established guidelines for exactly how much and when Emmy will be available to renters, but her safety will be a primary concern, according to Bairstow.

The team has already identified one problem, however, while Emmy has been in their care.

"People really like her and want to give her treats, but you have to have control over her diet," Bairstow said. "So Holli had to say, 'Don't give her treats until you've checked with me first.'"